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Xfinity vs. CenturyLink Internet Review 2023
Xfinity offers up more speeds at good prices, but CenturyLink doesn't require you to sign a contract
Both CenturyLink and Comcast Xfinity bring a lot to the table when it comes to internet service, but we chose Xfinity as our personal internet service provider (ISP).
While CenturyLink offers unlimited data and doesn't jack up your price or make you sign a contract, Xfinity Wi-Fi download speeds are faster and more reliable. Plus, Xfinity's promotional prices might start out as a better deal compared to CenturyLink.
But which ISP is best for you? Read on to find out more about CenturyLink's versus Xfinity's prices, internet speeds, data caps, and more.
Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Prices
Okay, before we dig into the nitty-gritty, let’s chat about where you call home.
Hometown pride aside, your location is important because it affects which Xfinity prices you see and which CenturyLink speeds you get.
Weird, huh? Yeah, we thought so too. Here’s how that cookie crumbles:
- Xfinity prices change based on which region of the US you live in: West, Central, or Northeast. But the speeds it offers remain the same, with a few changes here and there.
- CenturyLink speeds change based on where you live—but CenturyLink will pair you up with the fastest speed you can get in your area up to 100 Mbps for the same monthly price. (Excluding its 940 Mbps fiber plan.)
Got all that? Great, now we’re ready to dive head-first into the cookie jar.
|Connect||$19.99/mo.*||Up to 75 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
|Connect More||$25.00/mo.†||Up to 200 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
|Fast||$50.00/mo.‡||Up to 400 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
|Superfast||$60.00/mo.‡||Up to 800 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
|Gigabit||$60.00/mo.‡||Up to 1000 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
|Gigabit Extra||$70.00/mo.‡||Up to 1200 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
Prices for Xfinity’s Wi-Fi plans start out much lower than CenturyLink’s, but the speed you get for the price you pay quickly evens out between the two internet service providers (ISPs).
What doesn’t match between the two ISPs is which speed each one offers. CenturyLink connects you to the web at 15 to 100 Mbps or at 940 Mbps, but Xfinity has a bunch of speeds in between to choose from. We’d say that makes plans like Xfinity’s Fast and Superfast plans a better choice for families of streamers or gamers.
All right, we don’t mean to rain on CenturyLink’s parade. Especially since CenturyLink promises to not hike up your price and Xfinity doesn’t. (Yup, Xfinity prices go up after one to two years. Ugh.)
With CenturyLink, your starting price should stay the same as long as you don't change internet plans or move to a new location. You'll also need to sign up for paperless billing, but honestly, not many of us rely on snail-mailed bills these days.
|Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps||$50.00/mo.^||Up to 100 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit||$70.00/mo.°||Up to 940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
CenturyLink also doesn't rope you into a contract. Most of the time you'll either keep your Comcast Wi-fi plan for one or two years—or pay an early termination fee if you cancel early.
And we haven't even touched on data caps yet. Most of Xfinity's internet plans come with a 1.2 TB data cap. Sure, most of us won't use that much data in a month, but why worry about it when CenturyLink offers unlimited data?
For large families and anyone who wants their internet to pack the biggest punch possible, we also think CenturyLink’s Fiber Internet plan is a steal. (If it’s available to you.)
It rings up at a lower monthly price than Xfinity’s gig speed plan—and is even a better deal than Verizon Fios’s and AT&T Fiber’s gig plans.
We’ve got more recommended plans and thoughts on pricing in our Xfinity review and our CenturyLink internet review.
Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Internet speed
Both CenturyLink and Xfinity offer quite a few speed options, but as we mentioned before, Xfinity’s Wi-Fi plans cover a wider range of speeds. There’s quite a gap between CenturyLink’s 100 Mbps and 940 Mbps plans.
But hey, don’t let Xfinity’s top-tier 3,000 Mbps plan sweep you off your feet. It’s far more likely you’ll get to choose its 1,000 Mbps plan. Besides, you’ll need to fork over about $300 for those 3,000 Mbps speeds.
|Xfinity Internet||75–1200 Mbps||10–35 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||100–940 Mbps||10–940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
Data effective 11/25/2019. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Now, if you want to talk actual speed performance, we’ll still point you to Xfinity.
Comcast Xfinity ranked seventh overall and fourth out of all the large ISPs in our analysis of the fastest ISPs in the US. CenturyLink, on the other hand, ranked 28th overall.
Reviews.org weighted score
46.6 out of 100
20.2 out of 100
A couple of quick caveats here: those scores aren't representative of actual download speeds for either Xfinity or CenturyLink. Instead, the scores represent a combination of the average download speeds, upload speeds, and latency that Xfinity and CenturyLink internet users saw in more than 1 million speed tests taken in 2019.
Also, we should note that our top-ranked ISP earned a score of 75.6, so Xfinity's score of 46.6 is actually pretty good. And both Xfinity and CenturyLink are at a disadvantage compared to fiber internet providers since we also measured average upload speeds. Cable and DSL internet don't have fast upload speeds, but fiber does. (Though Xfinity and CenturyLink both have fiber plans.)
CenturyLink vs. Xfinity: Internet and TV bundles
Typically, bundling your internet with TV service from the same provider saves you some cash. But if you dig into the costs of Xfinity’s and CenturyLink’s bundles, you’ll find this isn’t always true.
One thing’s for sure, though, you’ll save money with most of Xfinity’s bundles versus paying for your internet and TV service separately.
Internet download speed
TV channel count
|Connect Internet + Choice TV||$39.00/mo.**||75 Mbps||10+||View Plans|
|Connect Internet + Ultimate TV||$100.00/mo.††||75 Mbps||185+||View Plans|
|Connect Internet + Choice TV + Xfinity Voice||$50.00/mo.**||75 Mbps||10+||View Plans|
|Connect Internet + Choice TV||$50.00/mo.‡‡||Up to 75 Mbps||10+||View Plans|
|Fast Internet + Popular TV||$85.00/mo.^^||Up to 400 Mbps||125+||View Plans|
|Fast Internet + Popular TV + Xfinity Voice||$95.00/mo.^^||Up to 400 Mbps||125+||View Plans|
|Superfast Internet + Ultimate TV||$110.00/mo.^^||Up to 800 Mbps||185+||View Plans|
|Superfast Internet + Popular TV + Xfinity Voice||$125.00/mo.††||800 Mbps||125+||View Plans|
|Gigabit Extra Internet + Ultimate TV||$125.00/mo.^^||Up to 1200 Mbps||185+||View Plans|
|Gigabit Extra Internet + Ultimate TV + Xfinity Voice||$135.00/mo.^^||Up to 1200 Mbps||185+||View Plans|
|Gigabit Extra Internet + Ultimate TV + Xfinity Voice||$160.00/mo.°°||1200 Mbps||185+||View Plans|
We’re happy to see Xfinity’s bundle channel counts keep up with CenturyLink’s—a pretty epic feat considering CenturyLink bundles with DIRECTV.
If you’re curious about whether Xfinity offers your favorite channels or not, check out our full-length Xfinity TV review.
Yup, when it comes to bundling internet with TV, good ol’ CenturyLink is going big instead of going home. Since it cut its CenturyLink Prism TV service a few years back, DIRECTV has been CenturyLink’s TV provider of choice.
Sadly, you won’t find many savings around here. Unlike AT&T, which also bundles internet with DIRECTV, CenturyLink’s bundle prices come out to the same price as paying for TV and internet separately. (Sad trombone.)
Internet download speed
TV channel count
|DIRECTV® ENTERTAINMENT + CenturyLink Internet||$114.99/mo.***||Up to 100 Mbps||165+||View Plans|
|DIRECTV® CHOICE + CenturyLink Internet||$134.99/mo.†††||Up to 100 Mbps||200+||View Plans|
|DIRECTV® ULTIMATE + CenturyLink Internet||$159.99/mo.†††||Up to 100 Mbps||270+||View Plans|
|DIRECTV® ENTERTAINMENT + CenturyLink Internet + Home Phone||$154.99/mo.***||Up to 100 Mbps||165+||View Plans|
|DIRECTV® CHOICE + CenturyLink Internet + Home Phone||$174.99/mo.†††||Up to 100 Mbps||200+||View Plans|
|DIRECTV® ULTIMATE + CenturyLink Internet + Home Phone||$199.99/mo.†††||Up to 100 Mbps||270+||View Plans|
|DIRECTV® PREMIER + CenturyLink Internet||$204.99/mo.†††||Up to 100 Mbps||340+||View Plans|
|DIRECTV® PREMIER + CenturyLink Internet + Home Phone||$244.99/mo.†††||Up to 100 Mbps||340+||View Plans|
Still, you’re getting all that DIRECTV channel love by bundling with CenturyLink. Just watch out for that price hike after your first year of DIRECTV service.
Find out why we love DIRECTV so much—even with the price jump—in our DIRECTV review.
Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Customer service
Customer service is a touchy issue for ISPs, and we don’t need to tell you why. You’ve been there.
Unfortunately, both Xfinity’s and CenturyLink’s reputations don’t make us feel better about the whole customer service deal. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), both ISPs scored lower than the industry average of 62 out of 100.2 (But both did improve by one point.)
61 out of 100
59 out of 100
So whaddya do if you have to call Xfinity or CenturyLink? First off, take a deep breath and channel your inner Mother Teresa. Omm . . .
. . . Seriously, though, there’s no point in getting angry or frustrated. Here are some more tips for navigating what feels like trench warfare with customer service:
- Use email, live chat, or social media instead of calling so you can unload the dishwasher, play games, or make the bed while you wait.
- Get any promises or details in writing—screenshot your chat logs and save those emails.
- Ask for a manager if your current representative isn’t helpful.
Recap: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink
If you’re comparing Xfinity and CenturyLink internet, there’s no clear winner.
The good news is, Xfinity is a clear choice if you’re looking for reliably fast internet with lots of download speed options and don’t mind a higher price. And CenturyLink is almost irresistible for anyone who’d rather save some money on internet than get the fastest speeds.
- Pricing: CenturyLink. Both Xfinity and CenturyLink have reasonable prices for the speeds each one offers—but only CenturyLink promises to never bump your price up.
- Speed: Xfinity. Xfinity offers up more download speed options—and tends to be good on its word when it comes to delivering those speeds.
- TV + internet bundles: Depending on what you want out of your internet and TV bundle, both Xfinity and CenturyLink can be the pick of the pack. Xfinity has fewer bundle options but will probably save you some cash, while CenturyLink focuses less on savings and more on the deliciousness that is DIRECTV.
- Customer service: Neither. Both ISPs have a lot of work to do when it comes to improving customer service. Neither one scored higher than the internet industry average ACSI score—though they did both improve by one point over last year’s scores.
Get all the details to help you decide which ISP is best in our Xfinity internet review and our CenturyLink review.
|Xfinity Internet||$19.99–$70‡‡‡||75–1200 Mbps||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||$50–$70^^^||100–940 Mbps||View Plans|